Taiwan Cinefest The best new films from Taiwan are flagged up in this the largest festival of its kind in Europe. This year’s delights include quirky romancer Sorry, I Love You (pictured), impressive multilayered urban drama A Place of One’s Own, singular character drama cum media satire Yang Yang (on which the mighty Ang Lee worked as consultant) and laudable anti ageist dance comedy Step Step. Season tickets available. ■ GFT, Glasgow from Tue 23 Mar.
screening is followed by a Q&A with the director. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. The Scouting Book for Boys (15) ●●●●● (Tom Harper, UK, 2009) Thomas Turgoose, Holly Grainger, Rafe Spall. 93min. See review, page 43. Glasgow Film Theatre; Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Screen Banditas: Reels from Life or How we Learned to Love Postmodernism (E) (Various) 90min. A screening of previously abandoned Super8 films that typify the so-called ‘postmodern condition’. Screened alongside a specially curated Gramophone soundtrack. Stills, Edinburgh. Shank (18) ●●●●● (Simon Pearce, UK, 2009) Wayne Virgo, Tom Bott, Marc Laurent. 90min. Devoid of the usual coming of age trappings, this gritty film chronicles 18-year-old Cal (Virgo) and his struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. Selected release. Sherlock Holmes (12A) ●●●●● (Guy Ritchie, UK/Australia/US, 2009) Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams. 128min. Ritchie’s long-awaited, high-octane action interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary hero. Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. Shutter Island (15) ●●●●● (Martin Scorsese, US, 2010) Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley. 138min. Marking his fourth collaboration with Scorsese, DiCaprio plays US Marshall Teddy Daniels who arrives on the storm- drenched rock off the coast of Boston with his new partner to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a mental institution run by a suspicious shrink. General release. A Single Man (12A) ●●●●● (Tom Ford, USA, 2009) Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult. 99min. Tracing a day in the life of George Falconer (Firth), a middle-aged English college professor, a series of flashbacks outline George’s 16- year relationship with the recently deceased Jim (Matthew Goode). Selected release. Slaves in their Bonds (12A) (Adonis Lykouresis, Greece, 2008) Giannis Fertis, Dimitra Matsouka, Akis Sakellariou. 127min. A tale of money, ill-fated love and honour centring upon an aristocratic Corfu family, adapted from Konstantinos Theotokis’ classic novel. Part of Greek Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Sleepy Hollow (15) ●●●●● (Tim Burton, US, 1999) Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken. 105min. Burton gives Washington Irving’s Gothic folktale a distinctly British colouring, as he borrows merrily from the Hammer films of the 50s and 60s, while Depp brings the right note of comedy to the dark proceedings. Scotsman Screening Room, Edinburgh. Small Revolts (15) (Kyriakos Katzourakis, Greece, 2009) Katia Yerou, Dimitiris Plionis, Martha Fritzila. 104min. A young artist finds a mural by Panselinos in a northern Greek border town and is inspired when he meets a married woman who looks like the painting. The pair begin a passionate affair and the young woman leaves her abusive husband when she falls pregnant with the artist’s child. Part of Greek Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Sorry, I Love You (12) (Yu-Hsien Lin, Taiwan, 2009) Chie Tanaka, Wu Huai- Chung. 93min. Charming Taiwanese romance about a projectionist who wants to be a filmmaker and a girl who travels to Taiwan to study Chinese but is unexpectedly cast as the leading actress in a movie. Part of Taiwan Cinefest Glasgow. Glasgow Film Theatre. Speed Racer (PG) ●●●●● (Andy Wachowski/Larry Wachowski, US, 2008) Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Elia, Susan Sarandon. 134min. A live action though CG-heavy adaptation of a 1960s Japanese television anime about a futuristic family of racecar designer-drivers who are pitted against a corporate fat cat. Empire, Clydebank. Spirited Away (PG) ●●●●● (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2001) Voices: Daveigh Chase, Rumi Hîragi, Sidonie von Krosigk, Miyu Irino, Jason Marsden. 125min. Chihiro travels through a tunnel into another world, where she happens upon a bathhouse for the spirits. After chowing down greedily on some spiked local produce, Chihiro’s parents are transformed into pigs, leaving their suddenly dutiful daughter to seek work in the bathhouse in order to release them. Cameo, Edinburgh. The Spy Next Door (PG) ●●●●● (Brian Levant, US, 2010) Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Madeline Carroll. 94min. See Also Released, page 45. General release.
Step Step (12) (Chen-ti Kuo, Taiwan, 2009) Shu-zhen Tsai, Hsiao-chuan Chang. 133min. Colourful tale about a group of residents in an old folks home in the small Taiwan town of Xiao Liu, a dashing male nurse and a beautiful dance teacher. Part of Taiwan Cinefest Glasgow. Glasgow Film Theatre. Still Crazy (15) ●●●●● (Brian Gibson, UK, 1998) Jimmy Nail, Bill Nighy, Timothy Spall. 95min. Like in The Full Monty, a disparate bunch of guys come together, suffer strife, but triumph against the odds. This time, however, the pants stay on as it’s a reformed 70s rock group that’s at the centre of attention. TV stalwarts Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais deliver a script that’s just a little episodic, but never less than funny, proving you don’t need special effects to produce a hit movie. Part of Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Gilmorehill G12, Glasgow. Storm (15) ●●●●● (Hans-Christian Schmid, Germany, 2009) Hannah Maynard, Mira Arendt, Keith Haywood. 110min. See review, page 45. Cameo, Edinburgh and selected release from Fri 26 Mar. Stroszek (15) ●●●●● (Werner Herzog, Germany, 1977) Bruno S, Eva Mattes, Clemens Scheitz. 108min. Busker Bruno S, his girlfriend and their diminutive friend abandon the hard life in Berlin for the golden land of opportunity – Wisconsin, America. Ironic, obviously. Collective Gallery, Edinburgh. The Swamp (La Ciénaga) (12) ●●●●● (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain, 2001) Mercedes Moran, Graciela Borges, Martin Adjemian. 102min. Sweat drips from every inch of celluloid in Martel’s film in which two families struggle to survive the Argentinean heat. One mother, broken and ineffectual wallows in a drunken fog; the other precariously juggles work and kids. Martel has withheld a soundtrack to allow oppressive silences to grow, while shots of moody inaction are beautifully lingered upon. Part of Martel season. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Themis (12A) ●●●●● (Markos Gastin, Greece, 2008) 80min. Gastin takes his camera inside the Athens Court of First Instance where everyday differences are played out and resolved. Part of Greek Film Festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. This is Spinal Tap (15) ●●●●● (Rob Reiner, US, 1983) Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, RJ Parnell, Ed Begley Jr. 82min. Certainly the most ingenious, accurate and funny of all spoof rockumentaries, with wonderfully spontaneous dialogue, convincing fly-on- the-wall camera work, self-penned heavy metal parodies, and of course the amp that goes to 11. Part of Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Grosvenor, Glasgow. The Three Amigos (PG) ●●●●● (John Landis, US, 1987) Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short. 105min. A rare Martin misfire as Steve and the boys go vainly searching for laughs in old Mexico as silent screen stars mistaken for real cowboy heroes. St Bride’s Centre, Edinburgh. Top Gun (PG) ●●●●● (Tony Scott, US, 1986) Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer. 110min. Emotionless formula adventure about men being grandly upstaged by very fast, very expensive and very dangerous aircraft, with the splendid Ms McGillis thrown for love interest. Charity screening for the British Red Cross. Dominion, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Trucker (15) ●●●●● (James Mottern, US, 2009) Michelle
Monaghan, Jimmy Bennett, Nathan Fillion. 92min. See review, page 44. Glasgow Film Theatre. 12 in a Box (tbc) (John McKenzie, UK, 2006) Miranda Hart, Katy Wix, Lucy Chalkley. 93min. UK premiere for this award-winning low-budget feature film, comedy set in a remote country mansion. Followed by a Q&A with the producer (Bruce Windwood) and director. Glasgow Film Theatre. Under the Sea 3D (U) (Howard Hall, UK, 2009) Jim Carrey. 65min. Carrey narrates an underwater 3D look at the impact of global warming upon the diverse coastal regions of Southern Australia, New
Index Film Guinea and the Indo-Pacific areas. IMAX Theatre, Glasgow. Up in the Air (15) ●●●●● (Jason Reitman, US, 2009) George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick. 109min. Adapted from Walter Kirn’s novel, the film centres on well-groomed executive Ryan Bingham (Clooney). Flying from city-to-city, Bingham is hired to fire, but the rub comes when we learn that Bingham’s life on the road is being threatened thanks to a new scheme by a grad-school whiz. Poignant, prescient, sharp and incisive. Dominion, Edinburgh. Valentine’s Day (12A) ●●●●● (Garry Marshall, UK, 2010) Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba. 124min. Romantic comedy intertwining stories that take place over the course of one Valentine’s Day. Showcase Cinema, Paisley; Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. The Warriors (18) ●●●●● (Walter Hill, US, 1979) Michael Beck, James Remar, Thomas Waites. 94min. Stylised gang warfare flick that avoids the temptations of graphic violence and instead lifts the subject matter to something approaching medieval myth. Glasgow Film Theatre. When Harry Met Sally (15) ●●●●● (Rob Reiner, US, 1989) Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher. 95min. Thoughtful sex comedy has Crystal (Harry), Ryan (Sally) and Reiner on top form, with highly entertaining results. Nora Ephron’s witty screenplay intelligently ponders the possibility of male/female friendship with or without romance, and guess which side wins. Annie Hall for the late 1980s. Part of Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Gilmorehill G12, Glasgow. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (PG) ●●●●● (Robert Zemeckis, US, 1988) Bob Hoskins, Joanna Cassidy, Christopher Lloyd. 92min. In 1949 LA, the humans live alongside the Toons, cartoon characters working in movies. Animated star Roger Rabbit hires private dick Hoskins to keep tabs on his wife, but he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the future of Toontown itself. Scotsman Screening Room, Edinburgh. Yang Yang (12A) (Cheng Yu-Chieh, Taiwan, 2009) Sandrine Pinna, Bryant Chang, Huang Chien-Wei. 114min. With a French father, Taiwanese adolescent Yang Yang (Pinna) struggles to find acceptance amongst her family and friends. Abandoning her remarried mother, Yang Yang must find her way in the superficial world of commercials. Part of Taiwan Cinefest Glasgow. Glasgow Film Theatre. The Wolfman (15) ●●●●● (Joe Johnston, UK/US, 2010) Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins. 102min. Remake of the classic 1941 creature feature. The set pieces are impressive and bloody but this is more of an action blockbuster than a period horror. There’s an over reliance on CGI and it certainly has its sillier moments, particularly the climatic confrontation. Good cheesy fun but don’t expect any psychological depth examining the beast within. The Hippodrome, Bo’ness.
The Boys Are Back (12A) Wed 24 Mar 11:00am (cuppa), 7:30pm 18 Mar–1 Apr 2010 THE LIST 49